The Best Pokémon Packs And Booster Boxes To Buy In 2023 [In-Depth Analysis]

The Pokémon trading card game releases several new expansions every year. Considering each expansion has different power levels, chase cards, and expected value within, it can be hard to know which products are best to buy. The best Pokémon packs for you personally will depend on what you would like to get from the product. However, regardless of if you are searching for powerful Pokémon for your deck or a particular VMAX secret rare for your collection, certain sets simply offer more than others. With that said, let’s take a look at the best packs to buy in 2023 for players, collectors, or investors.

The best Pokémon sets to buy boxes or packs of in 2023 are Lost Origin, Brilliant Stars, Evolving Skies, and Unbroken Bonds. While each has its own unique strengths, each also has something for different customer types as well.

All the above mentioned sets contain powerful Pokémon that may appeal to players as well as good expected value and some “chase” rares that make them nice boxes for collectors and investors too. Therefore these four “jacks of all trade” boxes have the most to offer customers overall in 2023.

You really can’t go wrong with any of the boxes we’ve mentioned but given they each offer something unique you want to make sure you get the correct one to suit your needs. Read on to learn more!

Table Of Contents:

  1. What Are The Best Pokémon Packs To Buy?
  2. Should I Buy Booster Packs or Booster Boxes?
  3. What Are The Best Boxes To Buy?
  4. Which Pokémon Collections Are The Best?
  5. Should I buy Single Cards?

What Are The Best Pokémon Packs To Buy?

As mentioned, I selected products that have something for everyone, no matter how they interact with Pokémon. So, these are all sets that anyone interested in the game can pick up and be happy with the money that they spent. Let’s take a look at each one more in-depth.

Newest Set
  • Pros:
    • Newest Set - Standard Legal
    • Will be widely available to purchase
    • Markes the return of "The Lost Zone cards
Best For Standard Players
  • Pros:
    • Will be available most places
    • Still standard legal - Will have cards interesting to players
    • Rare & expensive cards - Charizard V and Charizard VSTAR
    • Trainer gallery - Full art reprints of Pokémon alongside a trainer
Best Expected Value
  • Pros:
    • Dragon-Type Pokémon - Relevant to players who like the Pokémon type.
    • High expected value
    • Chase cards
    • Recently out of print - Makes it a great investment before supply dries up
Best For Expanded Players
  • Pros:
    • Powerful pokemon - GX and Tag Team GX Pokémon
    • Out of print - Lack of supply may make it a good investment
    • Chase cards - Several secret rare and full art Tag Team GX Pokémon.
Newest Set
Pros:
  • Newest Set - Standard Legal
  • Will be widely available to purchase
  • Markes the return of "The Lost Zone cards
Best For Standard Players
Pros:
  • Will be available most places
  • Still standard legal - Will have cards interesting to players
  • Rare & expensive cards - Charizard V and Charizard VSTAR
  • Trainer gallery - Full art reprints of Pokémon alongside a trainer
Best Expected Value
Pros:
  • Dragon-Type Pokémon - Relevant to players who like the Pokémon type.
  • High expected value
  • Chase cards
  • Recently out of print - Makes it a great investment before supply dries up
Best For Expanded Players
Pros:
  • Powerful pokemon - GX and Tag Team GX Pokémon
  • Out of print - Lack of supply may make it a good investment
  • Chase cards - Several secret rare and full art Tag Team GX Pokémon.

Lost Origin

Several things make this an excellent pick-up for 2023. First, it is one of the newest releases on the list. This is important for a few reasons. One, it means that Lost Origin packs will be widely available almost anywhere TCG cards are sold. Secondly, it will bring brand new cards into Standard for players to play with.

The set reintroduces “The Lost Zone” as well as cards like Giratina V and Giratina VSTAR that interact with it. Lastly, It also features the return of the Trainer Gallery subset that contains mostly full art reprints of iconic Pokémon alongside a Trainer.

Related: The Top 10 Best Lost Origin Cards

The set also has several very powerful, very exciting pokemon. For example, there’s Giratina VSTAR which can knock out an opposing Pokemon in a single hit. And Kyurem VMAX which allows you to attach energy from the top of your deck to your Pokemon.

Price Per Booster Box

The average price for a single Lost Origin booster pack is around $4.50.

Expected Value:

Of the 196 cards in the set, six of them cost more than $20. The most expensive card from the main set is the alternate full-art version of Giratina V, which is $222.69 as of now. The alternate full-art version of Aerodactyl V is the runner-up at around $120.

Thr trainer gallery also features a few high-value cards including – Pikachu V at $28.77 and Pikachu VMAX at $42.62. Another card that I find often holds its value pretty well is Boss’s Orders. It has an Ultra Rare version in Lost Origin that is currently at around $13.

These cards haven’t been out long enough to track their price trends yet but we’ll revisit Lost Origin and see if the cards are gaining or losing value as time goes on.

Pros And Cons:

ProsCons
High availabilityNone
Most recent release
Great for Standard players

Where can you buy Lost Origin:

This being one of the newest set means that it can be found in most places where TCGs are sold. This includes retail stores like Wal-Mart and Target. As well as your local card shops and online stores like Amazon, eBay, and TCGplayer.

01/20/2023 06:01 am GMT

Cards To Look Out For:

pikachu vmax alt
giratina v alt
bosses orders trainer gallery
aerodactyl v alt
pikachu vmax trainer gallery
pikachu v trainer gallery

Brilliant Stars

The next pack I recommend as a strong pickup for 2023 is Brillant stars. It has quite a bit of things that make it a strong set to pick up. First, the set features some extremely expensive cards meaning you have a great chance to make your money back. It has a very high number of potentially high-value cards. Sitting at the top of the list of these valuable cards is two very rare Charizard cards that will surely draw the attention of Pokémon collectors.

Furthermore, as it is a standard legal set, there will be plenty of cards that players and deck builders will be excited to get their hands on. Including some great VSTAR Pokemon.

There is also a subset of cards called the “trainer gallery” which features full art reprints of Pokémon alongside a trainer that the Pokemon community as a whole enjoys. Given its list of high-value cards, collectible full-art cards, and cards relevant to players, brilliant stars has something for everyone.

Let’s take a deeper look at some of the details for brilliant stars.

Charizard VSTAR 018/172 Brilliant Stars - Ultra Rare Pokemon Card
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Price Per Booster Box

The average price for a single brilliant stars booster pack is around $4.50.

Expected Value:

Of the 170 cards within the set, 8 cards cost $20 or more. The two most expensive cards of the set are the alternate full-art Charizard V ($197.12) and Charizard VSTAR ($80.34) which both carry pretty hefty price tags.

With that said, Charizard VSTAR has lost nearly half its value and may continue to go down from here. On the other hand, the full-art Charizard V has maintained nearly all of its value over the same stretch of time. Let’s take a look at the value fluctuation for each brilliant stars card above $20, over the last 6 months. All prices below are TCGplayer Market price.

Card NameValue April/May 2022Value October 2022Percentage Gained/LostHighest Price In Last 6 MonthsLowest Price In The Last 6 Months
 Charizard V (Alternate Full Art)$201.06$188.73-6%$201.06$160
Charizard VSTAR (Secret)$154.80$81.03-47%$154.80$8
Arceus V (Alternate Full Art)$40.50$42.06+3%$47$37
Charizard V (Full Art)$35$34.43-1%$37.74$33
Arceus VSTAR (Secret) (184)$33$30.94-9%$39.18$31
Arceus VSTAR (Secret) (176)$23.28$22.48-5%$29.31$23
Lumineon V (Alternate Full Art)$19.87$22.47+12%$22.47$19.87
Arceus VSTAR$25$21.65-13%$29.40$21.65

To summarize some of these numbers for you most of the cards over $20 are down a bit over the last six months. With the exception of Lumineon V which is up 12%. With this said, half of the cards here are trending up over the last three months.

Related: How Much Are Your Pokémon Cards Worth?

Pros And Cons:

ProsCons
Good expected valueNone really
Still readily available
Chance to pull Charizard V

Where can you buy Brilliant Stars:

This being a newer set means that it can be found in most places where TCGs are sold. This includes retail stores like Wal-Mart and Target. As well as your local card shops and online stores like Amazon, eBay, and TCGplayer.

01/20/2023 04:05 am GMT

Cards To Look Out For:

arceus v
charizard vstar
charizard v alt
sylveon vmax trainer gallery
umbreon vmax trainer gallery

Evolving Skies

Evolving Skies was released in August of 2021. The set has several things that make it one of the best Pokémon pick-ups for 2023. This includes featuring many powerful Dragon-Type Pokémon that will be relevant to players who like the Pokémon type. Additionally, the set offers support to the single and rapid strike style mechanics.

Umbreon VMax - 095/203 - Ultra Rare - Evolving Skies
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Price Per Booster Pack:

The average price for a single evolving skies booster pack is around $5.50.

Expected Value:

Aside from its playability, evolving skies has a plethora of chase cards to appeal to collectors. These include several rare alternate art VMAX Pokémon with massive price tags. Of the 203 cards, 19 of them are worth $20 or more and many of these cards are continuing to rise in price at an exponential rate.

For example, this time last year the alternate art secret rare Umbreon VMAX was around $150. Now, it’s around $450. Others within the set have also seen similar soars in price. Umbreon VMAX has nearly doubled from $140 in December of 2021 to around $280 in October of 2023.

If I had to guess what is driving prices up so much, I’d say that the set went out of print last year and that the supply is starting to dry up. I’m not a financial advisor, but in my experience, the most coveted cards from a set can often hit even higher prices than what these are currently at. If you’re an investor looking to get a position in sealed Pokemon boxes, evolving skies would be on my radar.

Let’s take a look at the price trends for all cards over $20 in the last 6 months. Including,

Card NameValue April/MayValue October 2022Percentage Gained/LostHighest Price In Last 6 MonthsLowest Price In Last 6 Months
Umbreon VMAX (Alternate Art Secret)$309.20$478.00+55%$478.00$309.20
Rayquaza VMAX (Alternate Art Secret)$206$289.50+40%$289.50$206
Glaceon VMAX (Alternate Art Secret)$124$174.87+40%$174.87$124
Leafeon VMAX (Alternate Art Secret)$115$161.78+40%$161.78$111
Sylveon VMAX (Alternate Art Secret)$126$147.26+16%$154$120
Umbreon V (Alternate Full Art)$80$99.07+23%$99.07$75
Rayquaza V (Alternate Full Art)$75.50$91.63+21%$91.63$71
Dragonite V (Alternate Full Art)$81.11$88.25+8%$88.25$78.36
Espeon V (Alternate Full Art)$50$73+43%$73$50
Glaceon V (Alternate Art Full)$48.45$70.04+45%$70.04$48.45
Sylveon V (Alternate Full Art)$49.55$70+29%$70$49.55
Leafeon V (Alternate Full Art)$50.70$64.15+22%$50.70$50.70
Rayquaza VMAX (Secret)$38.38$38.50+0.3%$40$36.38
Noivern V (Alternate Full Art)$27.55$35.75+29%$35.75$27.55
Umbreon VMAX (Secret)$31.28$30-4%$35.37$27
Duraludon VMAX (Alternate Art Secret)$24.75$27+9%$27.25$24.75
Sylveon VMAX (Secret)$26.13$25+4%$26.13$22.50
Umbreon V (Full Art)$19.53$22+12%$22.30$17.71
Leafeon VMAX (Secret)$18.91$21.34+12%$21.34$17.60

As you can see from the chart, evolving skies is going through the roof. Every single card above $20 has seen some amount of growth over the last three months. Most of them are seeing substantial increases of 40-50%. There’s no telling how much higher these cards stand to climb but it’s certainly something to keep an eye on. If you’re not convinced these cards are near their peak yet, there’s no time like the present to pick up some packs.

Pros And Cons:

ProsCons
Very good expected value/rare cardsSet has rotated
Still available most places
Great price compared to expected value
Card values are rising

Where Can I buy Evolving Skies:

Evolving skies is still somewhat new despite having rotated recently.. As a result, there is a good chance it can be found in stock at most retail stores. However, even if your local Target or Wal-Mart doesn’t have them, they should be easy to find at your local game shop. Furthermore, booster packs can be found online from Amazon, eBay, and TCGplayer.

01/20/2023 04:05 am GMT

Cards To Look Out For:

umbreon vmax
glaceon vmax
umbreon v
leafeon vmax
sylveon

Unbroken Bonds

2019’s unbroken bonds is the oldest of my recommended Pokémon pack to buy. While the set is no longer standard legal, it is a powerhouse set for players of expanded. It has some of the most powerful Pokémon of any recently released set.

Including things like several strong GX and Tag Team GX Pokémon. This is one of the greatest assets of the set and makes it my top pick for the best Pokémon pack to buy for players of the format.

Greninja & Zoroark GX 107/214 - Ultra Rare - Unbroken Bonds
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The set has many cards that will draw collectors to it. These include several secret rare and full art Tag Team GX Pokémon. Additionally, some of the cards that appeal to collectors make the set quite valuable. The combination of chase cards and the set being out of print makes it a target for investors to buy and resell.

Further, the price for Unbroken Bonds is higher than any set on the list. However, its powerful Pokémon and sought-after Tag Team GX cards, make it well worth its price.

Price Per Booster Pack:

The price per booster pack of unbroken bonds is around $14 per pack. Making it the most expensive booster pack on the list.

Expected Value:

There are 234 cards in Unbroken Bonds. Of these 234 cards, 11 are worth at least $20. The most expensive card is the secret rare Reshiram & Charizard GX which carries a price tag of just over $150. The secret rare Gardevoir & Sylveon comes in second, at $81 per copy.

CardValue October 2021Value October 2022Percentage Gained/LostHighest Price In Last 6 MonthsLowest Price In Last 6 Months
Reshiram & Charizard GX (Secret)$155.27$152.67-1%$152.67$151
Gardevoir & Sylveon GX (205) (Alternate Full Art)$77.78$81.76+5%$81.76$75.07
Blastoise GX (Secret)$75.32$66.93-10%$75.32$66.93
Green’s Exploration (Full Art)$45.81$45.57+0%$45.81$42.99
Red’s Challenge (Full Art)$45$42.80-4%$45$42
Gardevoir & Sylveon GX (Secret)$35.70$39.78+11%$39.78$35.70
Greninja & Zoroark GX (201) (Alternate Full Art)$34.65$37.62+8%$37.62$34.65
Marshadow & Machamp GX (199) (Full Art)$23.78$36.75+56%$36.75$23.78
Reshiram & Charizard GX (Full Art)$33.30$33.40+0%$35.39$33.30
Welder (Full Art)$23.24$22.47-3%$24.32$22.47
Greninja & Zoroark GX (Secret)$21.80$21.20+0%$21.80$21.20

Most of the cards for this iconic set have maintained the majority of their value over the last few months. The biggest drop was the secret rare Blastoise GX, which fell 10%. On the other hand, the full-art Marshadow & Machamp GX saw a massive increase of 55%.

Overall, from my experience, these slightly older sets have a pretty steady ebb and flow unless something spikes a card. With that said, I think Unbroken Bonds will slowly continue to creep up in value as time passes.

Pros And Cons:

ProsCons
Strong PokémonPacks/boxes are expensive
Tag Team PokémonNot available at retail stores
Price will likely rise in the future

Where Can I Buy Unbroken Bonds:

Considering that it’s an older set Unbroken Bonds probably won’t be available at the big box stores. However, local game stores or card shops may have it in stock. Aside from checking your LGS, unbroken bonds can be purchased online from sites such as Amazon, eBay, and TCGplayer.

Cards To Look Out For:

reshiram and charizard gx
blastoise gx
reds challenge
greens exploration
greninja and zoroark gx
gardevoir and sylveon
dedenne gx

What Are The Best Pokémon Booster Boxes To Buy For Value?

My overall picks for the best sets to pick up in 2023 are the same as my picks for single packs. However, there are a few other things to consider when looking at booster boxes specifically. Booster boxes come with 36 booster packs so, one of the main things to consider is what the “price per pack” ends up being for a booster box. Let’s take a look at some examples using the sets mentioned above.

Lost Origin

The newest release on the list, Lost Origin costs around $4.50 per pack. Booster Boxes for the set contain 36 booster packs and cost around $107 on TCGplayer. Prices may vary a bit at your LGS but for now, let’s go with these numbers to take out the guesswork.

This puts the average cost of a pack at a crazy low $2.90. This means you save $1.60 (35%) per pack when you buy a Lost Origin booster box.

Brilliant Stars Booster Boxes

As mentioned above, a single booster pack of Brilliant Stars costs around $4.50 give or take. Booster Boxes of the set sell for around $175 and contain 36 single booster packs. This puts the price per pack for the booster box at $4.70 per pack. So, in this case, buying a booster box wouldn’t save you much of anything unless you were going to save on shipping.

Evolving Skies Booster Boxes

Single booster packs of Evolving Skies cost around $6 each. While, booster boxes of 36 packs cost around $250, which puts the price per pack just above $6 each. Again, this won’t save you much per pack when you buy a box unless you’re saving money on shipping.

Unbroken Bonds Booster Boxes

Unbroken Bonds has the highest price tag on the list, costing around $14 per single booster pack. While a 36-pack booster box goes for around $481. That puts the average cost per booster pack at $13, meaning you save $3 (19%) per pack by buying a booster box.

So, buying booster boxes instead of individual boosters of the 4 sets in consideration here will save you about 20% per pack on average. With that said, Lost Origin has the lowest price per pack as compared to its single boosters. Therefore, it is a great option for people trying to get the most bang for their buck.

Which Pokémon Collections Are The Best?

There are lots of cool Pokémon collections out on the market, offering collectibles, booster packs, and a select few powerful cards. These products are great because they usually have something for everyone, no matter how they play or collect.

As such, they make great gifts for friends or family who are into Pokémon. There are quite a lot of different collections available, and they all have unique things they offer. Let’s take a look at some of the best options to buy for 2023.

Reshiram & Charizard-GX Premium Collection

Pokémon TCG: Reshiram & Charizard GX Premium Collection
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This collection features the Tag Team Pokémon Reshiram & Charizard GX and sells for around $70. Tag Team Pokémon can be quite powerful, and this is certainly one you could build a deck around.

The card features 3 attacks: Outrage, Flare Strike, and their Tag Team attack Double Blaze GX. The Reshiram & Charizard-GX Premium Collection contains a gold foil version of the card along with a few extras. The collection includes:

  • 1 gold foil card featuring Reshiram & Charizard-GX
  • 1 oversize foil card featuring Reshiram & Charizard-GX, for display
  • 10 Pokémon booster packs
  • A code card for the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online

Related: How To Organize Cards In A Binder

Celebrations Ultra-Premium Collection

Pokémon TCG: Celebrations Ultra Premium Booster Collection Box
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The celebrations line was released as a way to commemorate Pokémon’s 25th anniversary. The set pays homage to two of Pokémon’s most iconic characters, Pikachu and Charizard. So, the collection features a solid metal card of both Pokémon as they originally appeared in the game.

Additionally, it contains gold-etched promo cards featuring Poké Ball and Pikachu and several celebrations booster packs. As well as many regular booster packs and other surprises. The collection costs around $300 and the full contents are:

  • 2 commemorative metal cards featuring Base Set Pikachu and Base Set Charizard
  • 1 gold version of Pikachu V
  • 1 gold version of Poké Ball
  • A Charizard and Pikachu enamel pin
  • 1 metal Pokémon coin
  • 17 Celebrations 4-card booster packs
  • 8 additional Pokémon TCG booster packs
  • A player’s guide to game mechanics through the history of the Pokémon TCG
  • 3 storage boxes to keep everything from the collection in
  • A code card for the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online

Venusaur/Blastoise VMAX Battle Box

Pokemon Venusaur VMAX Box
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This collection comes in 2 versions. One features Venusaur VMAX and the other features Blastoise VMAX. Regardless of which of these fan-favorite Pokémon you choose to get the collection for you will receive a foil promo version and an oversized display version of the powerful Pokémon.

The collection also comes with 65 card sleeves featuring whichever Pokémon you choose and 4 booster packs that can be used to help build a deck around your VMAX Pokémon. The Venusaur/Blastoise VMAX Battle Box cost $50 and the full contents are:

  • 1 of 2 foil promo cards featuring Venusaur VMAX or Blastoise VMAX
  • 1 of 2 foil oversize display cards featuring Venusaur VMAX or Blastoise VMAX
  • 65 card sleeves featuring Gigantamax Venusaur or Gigantamax Blastoise
  • 4 Pokémon TCG booster packs
  • A code card for the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online

Related: The Best Card Sleeves For Mtg And Pokemon Cards

Should I Buy Booster Packs Or Booster Boxes?

Booster boxes contain 36 regular booster packs. There is no difference between the packs themselves when buying a single booster or a booster box. Therefore, the strengths and weaknesses of an individual pack for any given set are the same as a booster box for that set.

The advantage to buying booster boxes over single packs is that you usually get a better price per booster pack. Additionally, boxes also come completely sealed, so there is less chance that the packs may have been tampered with in some way. A single pack costs less money overall but if you have the extra money to get a box, it’s almost always a better deal.

Related: Set Boosters vs Draft Boosters FAQ

Should I buy Single Cards?

I recommend buying singles for players and people building decks who need particular cards. The chances that you would pull the card(s) you happen to want from a single booster pack are low. However, buying multiple booster packs to increase your odds will cost you much more than just buying the single card.

dedenne gx

For example, a playset of the commonly played card Dedenne GX from unbroken bonds would cost around $13. While a single pack of unbroken bonds would cost around $14. Therefore even if you could get 1 Dedenne from each pack you opened it would still cost you $56 for the playset.

There are a few different places to pick up single cards. For instance, from your local game store, or online from Amazon, eBay, and TCGplayer. Another great way to get singles is by trading with friends or other players.

End Step

Pokémon has a plethora of great products on the market and available to players. Therefore, even people who know exactly what they want out of a pack or collection may have trouble determining what the best packs to buy are. While this article can point players in a general direction, ultimately each person has different tastes. Therefore, the best Pokémon products to buy will always be the ones that make you the happiest. So, get out there and crack some packs of your favorite set.

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Geno Doak

I started playing Magic in 2015. I love all formats but I particularly love to play and build decks in modern. Pretty much every part of my life has been influenced by Magic in some way or another. It is something I am very passionate about. RIP Simian Spirit Guide.